Author: Colton Helms
In recent years, there has been a large change in the perception of start up companies. Most of this success is due to the rise of Silicon Valley and the culture that follows it. The region in Northern Californiaknown as Silicon Valley is full of people, both young and old, looking to market their ideas in order to become the next Apple, Facebook, or Google. It also accounts for 1/3 of Venture Capital investments in the United States. On the contrary, we have the East Coast business mentality, which focuses on places such as New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia. Due to the fact that there are so many large markets in the Northeast, the East Coast focuses more on massive commercialization than start up ideas. These mentalities contrast with one another, so it is up to the individual to decide where he/she might fit in better.
Of course, anyone can start a business or work anywhere, but certain people will be more successful in Silicon Valley, while others will see more success in the environment of the fast-paced east coast. The fact of the matter is that the two areas require different skillsets to succeed. @TechCrunch posted on Twitter, saying "For a stranger in Silicon Valley, success isn't only about who you know" and posted a link to an article giving advice to start ups in Silicon Valley. The article gives advice such as: make friends fast, meet with companies who have recently raised money, use AngelList, be proactive, and learn to say no to investors if your views do not align. This advice is extremely relevant for Silicon Valley startups; however, if you are looking to get into business on the East Coast, whom you know may in fact be the most important thing. In a market largely dominated by financial juggernauts, it is very difficult to get a foot in the door without knowing where to begin.
When it comes down to it, getting started in business, east coast or west coast, will be a worthwhile yet challenging endeavor. My advice to people is to go to where you have the most connections, and look to build a business there. If you are in an area where you feel comfortable and know people, you will be more likely to succeed in business. I personally would start my business in the Silicon Valley area for a few reasons. First of all, I am originally from Northern California, so the multitude of people I know will benefit me greatly. I feel that Silicon Valley is a better area for people just getting started in business, who do not have much professional experience. Since markets such as New York City and Boston have been established longer, employers will likely favor those who have proven themselves instead of young people with big dreams and ideas. In addition, Silicon Valley has the highest start up success rate. However, with the advancement and globalization of technology, people are becoming more and more able to complete the same type of work in any location, so the difference between east and west coast is becoming minimal. So where will you begin your business career?
Author: Colton Helms, Georgetown University